Sunday, July 20, 2014

Arizona Summer Astronomy

     Arizona’s clear, endless nighttime sky makes watching the starry universe not only a major industry for professional astronomers but also a most educational and enjoyable hobby for the whole family.  Across Arizona both professional and amateur astronomers will have their telescopes pointed toward the heavens this summer, and all you have to do is get out and discover the incredible celestial worlds that show up above our heads each night once the hot, summer sun goes down.
    Finding the right place to view the nighttime sky can be a challenge since there are so many places and groups from which to choose.  So here is a listing of great astronomy possibilities both near to Anthem and across Arizona, that you and your family can join up with to discover for yourself the amazing cosmos.

     The Challenger Space Center in Glendale is the closest facility to Anthem that offers a wonderful Saturday night astronomy experience each month of the year.  Their Family Star Night Event is a great outing for the entire family.  There is a $7/person cost; here is their website link -
      There are three nearby astronomy groups that offer nighttime viewing on various evening throughout the year including summer evenings.  The Phoenix Astronomical Society,, the West Valley Astronomy Club in Surprise,, and the Saguaro Astronomy Club in Glendale, Check out their website for their viewing calendars.
    The Arizona Science Museum’s Imax/Planetarium in downtown Phoenix is open to the public all summer and a great place to begin learning about the Arizona sky.  Their Arizona Skies program is presented in the cool theatre and a great introduction for anyone interested in astronomy.
    Some incredible opportunities to join with knowledgeable astronomy groups are found across Arizona.  Here are several groups/places we highly recommend:
-Astronomers of the Verde Valley -

-Arizona State Park Star Parties -

-Lowell Observatory Summer Camp, Flagstaff -

-Flandrau Science Center, Tucson -

-Kitt Peak Observatory, west of Tucson -

    Another way to be aware of what’s going on in our area with astronomy is to follow The Night Sky Network sponsored by Astronomical Society of the Pacific, NASA, and the JPL.  Just put in our 85086 Zip Code and get the latest information about astronomy -  They even have a free, family-friendly astronomy Widget that can be downloaded to our various devices.

Kitt Peak - Photo Credit: National Optical Astronomy Observatory

Challenger Space Center

Entrance of Challenger Space Center

Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff

Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff

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